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Farewell Lynne's Lens

We were saddened last week to learn about the loss of a dear friend, Lynne Rostochil. She quietly lost her battle with cancer on November 7, 2019.

Lynne was well known in the historic preservation community. With a passion for modern design rooted in her genes (her grandfather was the respected architect R. Duane Conner) she crusaded for some of Oklahoma's finest "underloved" buildings. She even wrote a book about it!  Oklahoma City's Mid-Century Modern Architecture was released in 2017 and features archival images from the Oklahoma History Center (where she volunteered) as well as her own photography.

Her popular photostream on Flickr is a staple for any self-respecting Umbra chair owner. She was constantly snapping roadside architecture, ghost signs or shots of buildings many people would consider ugly. Some of those photos would form the backbone of a blog called Okie Mod Squad, created to support a group of casual gatherings that began in 2009. Those casual gatherings eventually became a popular Facebook community, and civic force for change when historic structures were threatened with demolition.

The most recent battle continues today over the iconic First Christian Church, an effort close to Lynne's heart as it was designed by her grandfather. She was even honored with her own day, "Lynne Rostochil Historic Preservation Day" by the Oklahoma City Council.

A memorial service will be held at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club on Sunday, November 17th at 2:00 PM.

Okie Mod Squadders discover the magic of Tulsa's hidden Bertoia sculpture in 2013.
From left: Matt Goad, Terri Sadler, Shane Hood, Lynne Rostochil and Robin Arn (hidden). 


The Recent Past

OKC's Unique First Christian Church

The Church of Tomorrow Oklahoma's state capitol dome was added some 88 years after the capitol was built, finally completed in 2002. But not far away is another dome that has been turning heads since 1956. It's the First Christian Church of Oklahoma City. Call it a wigwam, igloo, earthbound spaceship or dome- no matter how you describe the shape of the sanctuary, it's definitely eye-catching. The thin-shell concrete dome is massive, with seating for 1200. Connected to the dome is a four-story administrative building and a 185-seat theater. Dedicated as "The First Christian Church of Tomorrow," the architecture caught the attention of local newspapers, as well as Life magazine (Feb. 1957). Last summer I had a unique opportunity to explore these interesting buildings. The main complex was designed by R. Duane Conner in 1953. Conner was a member of the congregation and offered three different designs for the church. Credit is also attributed to his partner, Fr

The Bruce Goff House in Vinita

We were recently surprised to learn about a Goff-designed home just an hour away from Tulsa in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita is probably best known to OK Mod readers as the home of the Glass House on I-44, also known as (shudder) the World's Largest Largest McDonalds . Anywho, turned out the Goff house was on the market, and the owner was more than happy to let us have a look around. We took a short drive up the turnpike one Sunday afternoon to meet the realtor, snap some pictures, ask some questions and enjoy another one of Bruce Goff's unique creations. The home is known as the Adams House and was built in 1961. The 3,700 square foot home is arranged in a circular floor plan with a large sunken "conversation pit" at the center. Rising up from this pit is a large metal fireplace, its chimney surrounded by skylights, which dominates the entire house. Rooms surround the perimeter with folding accordion doors acting as walls. To maintain some semblance of privacy an inner

Oklahoma State Capitol Bank

On the Trail of Julius Shulman: Stop 2 "This is a bank," the sign outside the futuristic building read. According to legend a prankster added a strategic question mark and echoed the sentiment of many passers-by: "This is a bank?" That was back in 1964 when it opened. Today the Arvest on Lincoln Boulevard looks a bit less Jetsonian, mostly due to replacement of structural glass below the "saucers," but it's still an unusual bank. Designed by Robert Roloff of the architectural firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson & Roloff, the State Capitol Bank caused quite a stir in Oklahoma City when it opened. Heck, it's still pretty shocking today! Originally the flying saucers appeared to hover above the building (as seen in this vintage postcard). All the glass that made that effect possible also made heating and cooling an expensive proposition. Security concerns also mandated replacement of those windows with solid materials and small square portholes